For Raw, The Revival finally were able to become tag team champions. After months and months of seeing them go up against Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, it was about time WWE finally decided to shake things up in this rivalry. The tag team division got the attention it deserved this week and all of these guys were able to put on a great match. Hopefully, things start to go into a more intriguing direction now that the Revival are the champions.
For Smackdown, the gauntlet match they had between all of the competitors in the men’s elimination chamber was a great way to close out their show. Kofi Kingston ended up replacing Mustafa Ali after Ali announced he was injured and would not be able to compete in the match. Kingston put on a show as he defeated Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe before losing to AJ Styles. Randy Orton ended up winning the gauntlet by hitting an RKO out of nowhere on AJ Styles to end the show. This match has really good build up going into the PPV and now after Kofi Kingston’s last minute placement in this match, it really does leave it up in the air who could win at the PPV.
For Raw, Ruby Riott beat Nikki Cross and it was a quick match, which was won by Ruby Riott. Riott has a match on the PPV against Ronda Rousey and there has been minimal effort to build up this match. Rousey is more focused on her Wrestlemania match than this one and it is clear by the WWE is looking at it.
For Smackdown, they had a promo with the women’s tag teams from Raw building up their elimination chamber matches, and one of them was so bad that it has to be mentioned. When it was Nia Jax and Tamina’s time, Nia Jax kept cutting off what Tamina was saying by talking over her. This happened a few times and who knows if WWE meant to do this or not, but either way, it was painful to see.
The Final Verdict
With these being the go home shows before Elimination Chamber, WWE seemed only to really focus on two matches for the whole PPV. Those matches were both the Elimination Chamber matches, which do have big implications. But, WWE still should at least put effort into building up the other matches. Some of these were announced the day of this week’s show. Smackdown had the better show this week as a whole. A great gauntlet match and proper time put into all of their brand’s matches is the main reason why. In conclusion, WWE is more focused towards Wrestlemania so expect any of these PPV’s in between to shake things up going towards the biggest show of the year.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: March 11, 2019
For Raw, their main event was a falls count anywhere match between Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre and this was awesome to watch. This match was created after McIntyre sneak attacked Roman Reigns before his match with Baron Corbin, which angered Ambrose and made him demand that match. These two fought all over the arena and McIntyre ended up winning after hitting a claymore kick on Ambrose, who’s arm and head were pinned against a rail. It is looking like McIntyre face off against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, which should be a solid match.
For Smackdown, the ending segment with Kofi Kingston and Vince McMahon is really making the story for the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania intriguing. After Kingston confronted McMahon about not getting a championship opportunity after 11 years with WWE, McMahon said he will give him his opportunity, if he can survive a gauntlet match on Smackdown next week. This gauntlet includes Rowan, the Bar, Randy Orton, and Samoa Joe.
For Raw, they had a segment between Nia Jax and Natalya, which felt rushed from the beginning. After Natalya announced that Beth Phoenix would accompany her for her match against Jax, the match didn’t last longer than a minute before Phoenix interfered and got Natalya DQ’d from the match. This may led to a tag match at Wrestlemania, but having segments that don’t last longer than five minutes is not a proper way to build up a match.
For Smackdown, there was a five minute match between Asuka and Sonya Deville and it was not very good. The ending was similar to the PPV match between Asuka and Mandy Rose, but it was very poorly executed this time around. Asuka has been more involved in a storyline between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville than her actually being champion, which is not how she should be handled.
The Final Verdict
Overall, both shows were solid again this week. Both brands focused heavily on Wrestlemania as well as the fallout from Fastlane. There are lots of exciting stories going into Wrestlemania so hopefully both brands continue to ramp up the intensity of each one. With that said, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A great promo between Batista and Triple H, an entertaining main event, and an emotional goodbye to Kurt Angle is what gave Raw the better show this week. In conclusion, WWE has been doing really good building up the road to Wrestlemania, so hopefully they keep this momentum going after this PPV too.
Kurt Angle vs. John Cena Planned for WrestleMania 35
This week on RAW, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle announced that he will have his farewell match at WrestleMania 35, putting an end to his legendary career.
While an opponent has not been officially announced, sources say that the plan is to put Angle against John Cena, bringing their storyline full-circle.
Cena fueled rumors with a post on Instagram this week, but the match is pretty much set.
Harlem Heat Announced for WWE Hall of Fame
Legendary WCW tag team Harlem Heat has been officially announced for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Harlem Heat will join Torrie Wilson, Billy Gunn, Sean Waltman, Chyna, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, & the Honkey Tonk Man as this year’s inductees and WWE made the announcement during Monday Night Raw with the following video:
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